Northern Ireland

Tom Elliott selected as Ulster Unionist candidate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Tom Elliott has been selected to contest Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Tom Elliott has been selected to contest Fermanagh and South Tyrone Tom Elliott has been selected to contest Fermanagh and South Tyrone

FORMER Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Tom Elliott will again be the Ulster Unionist candidate in the constituency for the forthcoming Westminster election.

The former UUP leader previously held the seat for little over two years from May 2015.

He lost out in the last general election to Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew, by a majority of 875.

The DUP has already stated that it will not run in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, which is home to its leader Arlene Foster.

"This will be the most important general election in generations – the MPs elected on December 12 will have a decisive role in shaping the UK’s future international and domestic direction for many decades to come," Mr Elliott said.

"Brexit is the defining issue of the period. I believe a bad Brexit deal would be just as damaging, both economically and constitutionally, as a no deal."

Meanwhile, the TUV has said it will not be fielding any candidates in the Westminster election in what the party has described as a "one-off stance".

The Jim Allister-led party has been sporadic in its participation in previous general elections, tending to stand only in safe unionist seats.

The party received 62,021 first preference votes in May's European Parliament election, ultimately outpolling both the SDLP and Ulster Unionists.

A spokesman said first-past-the-post elections had "always evoked a different and more selective response from TUV than PR (proportional representation) elections, where maximising the choice for unionist voters is an advantage".

“This is a unique election in which we intend to take a one-off stance – TUV will sit out this single issue election," a spokesman said.

"The pan-republican, pro-Remain assault on unionist seats calls for a country before party response."